The majority of homes in the UK are set to have a smart energy meter by 2024. Find out how they work, and how they can save you money.
Smart meters replace your current gas/electric meters. It automatically sends regular readings to your energy supplier without the need for an internet connection.
Smart meters allow you to track your energy usage in real time as it includes an in-home display (IHD) screen to show how many units are being used and how much this will cost.
Energy companies are obliged to install smart meters for free under the government scheme, but you don’t have to accept one if you don’t want to – you’ll be given a normal meter instead or a smart meter with the smart functionality switched off.
There are two generations of smart meter – SMETS1 is the first and SMETS2 is the second.
An energy monitor just reads your energy usage. A smart meter, does that too. But it also sends readings to your provider and shows you the cost of energy you’ve used to date
The smart meter itself won't reduce your energy bills - you'll still pay for the gas and electricity you use. But, the accurate and real-time data a meter gives can help you make informed decisions. It’s much easier for you to see where you can save energy through little changes. Things like turning off lights when you leave a room or putting your washing machine on an eco-cycle.
Another financial benefit of smart meters is that they should stop you overpaying for energy. Your supplier won’t have to rely on estimated readings.
Some suppliers will contact you when they’re scheduling smart meter installations in your area. With others, you can register your interest with them and they’ll get in touch with you when you can book an appointment.
Get in touch with your supplier to find out exactly how to get a smart meter. If you’re switching suppliers. Find the best the best deal you can, and double check their smart meter installation service if it’s important to you.
|Supplier||Smart meter generation – SMETS1, SMETS2 or both||How to get a smart meter installed|
|British Gas||Both – which one you get depends on where you live||Register your interest|
|Bristol Energy||Both – SMETS1 is only for those who urgently need a smart meter||Register your interest|
|Bulb||SMETS2||You’ll be contacted when installations are scheduled for your area – you’ll then be able to book an appointment.|
|Co-operative Energy||SMETS2||You’ll be contacted when installations are scheduled for your area – you’ll then be able to book an appointment.|
|Ecotricity||Both - which one you get depends on where you live||Register your interest|
|EDF Energy||SMETS2||Register your interest|
|EON||SMETS2||Register your interest|
|Green Network Energy||SMETS2||You’ll be contacted when installations are scheduled for your area – you’ll then be able to book an appointment.|
|Green Star||SMETS2||Register your interest|
|Nabuh Energy||SMETS1||Register your interest|
|Octopus Energy||SMETS1 for people with additional needs, SMETS2 for everyone else||Due to a shortage of SMETS2 meters, installation bookings are suspended for now.|
|Pure Planet||SMETS2||Members are currently being contacted about smart meter installations before rolling out to all customers. If you have a SMETS1 or feed-in tariff, Pure Planet won’t be able to install a SMETS2 for you at the moment.|
|Shell Energy||SMETS2||Shell Energy is starting with customers who’s current meters are at the end of their lifespan, but you can still register your interest.|
|Spark Energy||SMETS2||Register your interest|
|SSE||SMETS2||Register your interest|
|Tonik Energy||SMETS2||You’ll be contacted when installations are scheduled for your area – you’ll then be able to book an appointment. If you already have a SMETS1 smart meter, you can check whether Tonik Energy can read it.|
|Toto Energy||N/A||Toto Energy has recently stopped trading. All existing customers have been transferred to EDF Energy.|
|Utilita||SMETS1||All Utilita tariffs come with a smart meter installation, so you’ll already have one if you’re an existing customer, or one will be installed if you become a new customer.|
|Utility Warehouse||SMETS2||You’ll be contacted when installations are scheduled for your area – you’ll then be able to book an appointment. If you’re a member, you can register your interest by logging in to your account.|
Yes. You can switch energy suppliers with a smart meter installed. But, depending on which generation you have installed, some of the functionality might change.
SMETS2 smart meters are designed for use with any supplier. That means when you switch, they’ll still send your meter readings automatically and you can view your energy use.
With SMETS1 meters, you’ll lose most of the functionality. You should be able to view your energy use each day, but the price will be wrong. It won’t send meter readings to your new supplier either. Most suppliers plan to update them to the latest SMETS2 technology soon.
Yes – they use radio waves to send your readings to energy suppliers, but the level of radiation is within safe limits. Public Health England has said they are perfectly safe to have in your home.
The meters themselves are vigorously tested under UK product safety laws to make sure they operate safely too.